Volume 18 – L Jessica Bowdoin

Très Historias

~Jessica Bowdoin

In the heat of Cordoba

the blur of boundaries wafts

clouds like censer.

I enter an archway, a thrumming

that hyphenates

la Mezquita-Catedral in my

hands. They reverberate

with hymns that harmonize the


call to Islam in whole notes.

Here, I’ll lay

the pads of fingers gently on a

pew, the walnut

edge worn with confession,

deep grooves.

I imagine them heartbeats.

He stands by me silently in the


of the qibla. Ten steps make a


between us, setecientos años,

inside rows of black and ox

blood columns

arching half-moon over half-

moon. Reconquista,

Inquisición, las Santas Cruzadas.

An organ

roars, full-throated hymns and the


holds it vibrating: por absolución

de Corazón.

God willing. Inshallah.

The architecture is bleeding. We


timelines by the children of the


of their children playing in the

orange trees.

The toddlers chase each other and

iridescent flutters

from stained glass windows,


magic, wings of refraction,


in the same courtyard where

thousands died.